After the year we’ve all had, we’re all in need of a little extra sparkle this Christmas, especially the little ones. Which is why we’ve rounded up 17 of the best events, shows and crafting activities to do right here in London.
From gingerbread workshops to Harry Potter escapades, here’s where to take the kids this Christmas.
With London in Tier 2, these events could be cancelled at short notice so it’s best to check on the direct websites and book ahead where possible.
Skip the kew and grab your tickets now for the most enchanting light installation at Kew Gardens. Now in its eighth year, Christmas at Kew is littered with glittery spiral trees, wow-worthy laser projections and endless tunnels of fun. The kiddies can dive into buckets of moreish churros and hot choccies while the parents enjoy a glass or two of mulled wine.
Tall Stories are bringing a special live-streamed version of their family friendly adaptation of The Gruffalo. Running Friday 11th – Sunday 13th December, book your tickets now to avoid disappointment and to follow the adventures of little Mouse.
Based on the classic children’s book by Julia Donaldson, buckle in for a wild adventure as Mouse journeys into the deep, dark and mysterious forest in search of the Gruffalo. All that’s left to do is fill the bowl with popcorn, have tubs of ice cream at the ready and enjoy the show from the comfort of your sofa.
Performances running Friday, 11th – Sunday, 13th December
With Covid restrictions ever tightening and the country on the brink of despair, we’re all in need of a little magic this Christmas to help transport us away from the virus ridden globe and into a fantastical wizarding world. Well, our wishes have been (momentarily) granted as the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter prepares to give Hogwarts a snow-tipped makeover.
From flaming Christmas puddings to glittering Christmas trees, prepare to dive headfirst into a Christmas wonderland as the Harry Potter studio is transformed into Hogwarts in the Snow.
Returns Thursday, 3rd December – Sunday, 17th January 2021
Where: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR
Like many of London’s iconic winter landmarks, Harrods’ legendary Christmas Grotto will not be returning this year. But determined not to ruin any of London’s little elves’ Christmas, Harrods has announced they will be partnering with beloved children’s author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers to bring joy to the little’uns face in the lead up to Christmas.
Join Oliver for an adventure into your imagination with their in-store event – the Wonder of Stories. Follow an exciting trail across land, sea, and stars – accomplishing activities along the way – and arrive at a whimsical destination, where you’ll hear from the very author who created the universe you’re standing in.
Follow an exciting trail across land, sea, and stars.
Live out your fairytale dreams with a night at the ballet as you catch the English National Ballet’s Nutcracker Delights live on stage.
The pandemic may have shut down the West End for months on end but it isn’t going to stop the London Coliseum’s performance of Nutcracker returning this Christmas, with a whole new specially curated performance, named Nutcracker Delights. Dancers and musicians will be bringing the story to life through mesmerising dancing, astonishing set designs and Tchaikovsky’s iconic score played live in a special 75 minute adapted version.
Grab your tickets quickly because it’s set to be a sellout.
Performances between Thursday, 17th December – Thursday, 3rd January 2021
Where: LONDON COLISEUM, ST MARTIN’S LANE, CHARING CROSS WC2N 4ES
Get ready to put your ice skating prowess to the test as you glide around Queen’s, London’s only all year-round ice rink. With so many of the outdoor ice rinks closed this year, it’s the perfect place to get your icy kicks and entertain the kids as you whizz or gracefully fall flat on your face around the rink.
Gloves and face masks must be worn at all times when skating and booking in advance is advised.
Fall in love with the magic of cinema once again this Christmas as Backyard Cinema’s The Snow Kingdom and The Winter Night Garden return with Christmas film classics. From the Home Alone franchise to Will Ferrell’s iconic Elf, The Muppets Christmas Carol to Love Actually, make sure you reserve your tickets now because many screenings have already sold out.
Where: CAPITAL STUDIOS, RAM QUARTER, 13 WANDSWORTH PLAIN SW18 1ET
Experience the magic of Christmas through animals this festive period when you book a spot at London Zoo’s The Magic of Christmas. From a family festive trail to a VIP breakfast meet Santa and animal gifting experience, watch as the kiddies faces light up at all of the festive fun.
Running Thursday, 3rd December – Sunday, 3rd January 2021
Where: LONDON ZOO, OUTER CIR NW1 4RY
A fun take on the traditional fable, Oldilocks & The 3 Bears, presented by Garlic Theatre, follows an eccentric old lady, three cuddly bears and steaming hot bowls of porridge.
On a cool winter’s day, Oldilocks finds a teddy bear and has flashbacks to the warming, sugary bowl of porridge she found all of those years ago in the woods. Something else important happened on that day, but she can’t quite remember what. Expect table-top puppetry, enchanting storytelling, live music and naughty adventure.
Performances running Friday, 11th – Sunday, 13th December
Where: 1 Clapham Common North Side, Clapham Town, SW4 0QW
Christmas might be feeling a little different this year but you can still enjoy a little festive cheer by exploring the best of London’s Christmas light scene.
Although we won’t be seeing queues of people crowding around for the big celebrity light switch-on (who really enjoys it anyway?), you can delight in some of the best festive lights in the world. Of course, be wary that we are currently in lockdown so only visit if you’re nearby or out on your daily stroll, but here’s where to go for the best Christmas displays.
Live out your Antarctic dreams when you book into Aviary’s iconic igloos, or enjoy the riverside views at Coppa Club’s cosy igloos hubs this festive season. Igloos are the perfect place to soak up all of the festive spirit, enjoy delicious dining experiences with your loved ones and experience some of the best views in the city.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without a trip to a Santa’s Grotto for the kiddies, and while the festive season is off to a late start this year, they can still meet the big man in the run up to the big day. Greenwich Market is hosting a socially distanced Santa’s Grotto meeting, meaning you can meet Santa and his Hospice Helper in person, in a safe and socially distanced way. Funds will go to Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice.
You might have cancelled 2020 but you can’t cancel the festive feeling that arises come December 1st. Eek out every ounce of the festive period with a trip to one of London’s most Christmassy restaurants and bars.
The country is (hopefully) set to reopen on 3rd December so there’s still plenty of time to get into the festive spirit with loved ones at one of these 15 places.
Venture a little further afield and really soak up the festive spirit at Lapland UK. Opening Thursday 3rd December, let your own little elves fall in love with the magic of Christmas as you wander around Lapland, visiting the elves workshops, Santa’s grotto and the Enchanted Forest. They’ve put in several Covid safety regulations so you and your elf crew can enjoy the festive fun, while also being safe.
Biscuiting experts, Biscuiteers have brought their icing classes online, meaning you can decorate your Christmas cookies with help from the experts. Choose from their DIY gingerbread houses; Winter market tin; Happy Christmas treats; or The Snowman special.
Venture down to Battersea Power Station this Christmas and take advantage of all the festive happening, from seasonal menus from some of London’s top restaurants to Christmas lights. Keep up to date with everything that’s going on over on their website so you don’t miss out.
Where: CIRCUS WEST VILLAGE, BATTERSEA POWER STATION, SW11 8AH
Canary Wharf’s dazzling January light display has arrived earlier than usual, and will be landing this Wednesday igniting the sky through vivid displays.
Connected by Light, a collection of inspiring light artworks, will provide the perfect backdrop for your Instagram selfie and provide your little ones with hours of fun. Over 75 pieces by 50 world-renowned artists will be situated on the Estate, free to roam and explore at your leisure.